Wiborada, St.

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A recluse known also as Guiborat, Weibrath; b. Klingau, Aargau, Switzerland; d. sankt gallen, May 2, 926. Having been a recluse at St. George from c. 912 to 916, she then went to Sankt Gallen and lived as a recluse near the church of St. Magnus. She worked as a bookbinder for the monks of Sankt Gallen (among whom was her brother, Hatto). Among the young ladies she gathered about her as students was (Bl.) Rachilde, also a recluse. From her cell Wiborada gained renown as a kind of prophetess. It was probably at Sankt Gallen that she met (St.) ulric, later bishop of Augsburg, to whom she gave counsel that was decisive in his career. When the Hungarians invaded the area on May 1, 926, Wiborada was fatally wounded and died the next day. Her first anniversary was celebrated with great honor, and her relics were discovered by Abbot Craloh (942958). Wiborada was canonized by clement ii in 1047; she is portrayed most often as a nun with a book and an axe.

Feast: May 2.

Bibliography: Acta Sanctorum (Paris 1863) 1:287313. a. zimmermann, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. m. buchberger (Freiburg 193038) 10:858. e. schlumpf, in Zeitschrift für Schweizerische Kirchengeschichte 19 (1925) 230234; 20 (1926) 161167; 21 (1927) 7275, 22 (1928) 142151; 6772. a. fÄh, Die hl. Wiborada, 2 v. (Sankt Gallen 1926). a. butler, The Lives of the Saints, ed. h. thurston and d. attwater (New York 1956) 2:218219. e. irblich, Die Vitae sanctae Wiboradeae (St. Gallen 1970). Vitae Sanctae Wiboradae, tr. w. berschin (St. Gallen 1983).

[m. j. stallings]